How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Globe Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Globe AZ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the school's reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let's review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Globe AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient's gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the "RDH" designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Degree Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Globe AZ dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Globe AZ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Globe AZ, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Globe AZ dental practices often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Globe AZ dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Globe AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Globe AZ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Globe AZ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Globe AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Globe AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Pick the Right Globe Dental Hygienist Courses
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental hygienist programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Globe Arizona.